Despite some people complaining about making them gassy, cabbage has numerous health benefits and can reduce the risk of various diseases ranging from diabetes to heart disease. Besides its preventive benefits, cabbage also has practical applications for treating minor wounds and digestive problems.
Cabbage leaves work great against pain and inflammation. According to a study conducted at the University of Missouri, apigenin, a flavonoid found in cabbage can considerably reduce inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. A cabbage compress can be applied for minor pains. Here’s how to prepare it:
Wash a few cabbage leaves and dry them well. Apply them on the painful area and secure them with a bandage, leaving them to work overnight. Change the cabbage leaves compress every day.
Although any kind of cabbage leaves should work, people have reported getting best results with red cabbage leaves.
Cabbage reduces the risk of heart disease
Cabbage contains anthocyanins, water-soluble pigments that can reduce inflammation. The elevated polyphenol levels in cabbage have been related to reduction of high blood pressure, effectively reducing the risk of heart disease. In order to prevent heart disease, you should consider this:
- Consume cabbage as raw as possible to preserve its healthy nutrients;
- Instead of lettuce, use cabbage in your salads;
- Take 2 tablespoons of cooked cabbage every day;
- Drink a cup of cabbage juice daily.
Fermented cabbage such as sauerkraut and kimchi can improve your digestive health. The probiotics present in this form can increase the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals, and certain enzymes in fermented foods help push things through the digestive tract. Here’s how to consume cabbage to get rid of digestive problems:
- Consume raw cabbage alone or as a side dish to improve your digestion;
- Take cabbage juice capsules to relieve stomach ulcers;
- Consume cabbage juice regularly to counter diarrhea.
Managing type 2 diabetes
According to data from the American Diabetes Association, cabbage naturally slows down the absorption of sugar in people suffering from type 2 diabetes and those who are more prone to the disease. The fiber in cabbage also helps absorb excess glucose. In order to manage diabetes, you should consider the following:
- Have some cabbage as a side dish at least 3 times a week;
- Drink cabbage juice a couple of times a day;
- Consume more boiled cabbage with lemon for flavor.
Facilitating wound healing
Cabbage has a unique ability to treat wounds and accelerate their healing. Prepare it like this to treat wounds:
Wash and clean a few green cabbage leaves, then flatten them well with a rolling pin. Heat the leaves in an oven or microwave for a minute, then apply them on the affected area. You need to change them every few hours at first, then on every 4-5 hours as the condition improves.
Fresh cabbage leaves can soak up all the pus from ingrown nails and similar problems. Tie up a few leaves on the affected area with a bandage, then leave them to work overnight. Change the leaves every day until the condition improves.
The versatility of cabbage is stunning – it can be used alone or in a combination. For example, to treat eczema, you can make a combination of cabbage, dried billberries, chamomile tea and watercress and apply the mixture directly on the skin. While it cannot treat everything, cabbage is certainly a healthy vegetable with many healing and preventive properties.